Roxburgh is located halfway between Dunedin and Queenstown on the banks of the Clutha River. An important centre during the Central Otago goldrush of the 1860s, in more recent times Roxburgh has relied on a mixture of livestock and stone fruit production for its economic survival.
The region's hot summers and cold winters are ideal for growing summer fruits. Stone fruits, strawberries, apples, raspberries and pears are all grown here. The nationally famous Roxburgh Red apricot was first planted in 1866 by Joseph Tamblyn, who bought a few fruit trees from a passing swagman.
A few kilometres upstream from the town, behind the huge Roxburgh hydro dam, lies Lake Roxburgh. This scenic lake extends almost 30 kilometres towards Alexandra. It offers extensive kayak touring and is well stocked with brown and rainbow trout.
There are numerous trails for hiking and mountain biking around the town and in the surrounding craggy mountain ranges. The Lake Roxburgh Walk takes around eight hours return and is entirely within the Roxburgh Gorge. The area contains a fascinating landscape of relics from the gold mining days, including shelters, huts, water-races and various workings. The gorge displays some of the best-preserved examples of Chinese miners' rock shelters in Otago.